Gannet produce a waterproof drone

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Gannet produce a waterproof drone

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Gannet Drone

Need a new fishing partner? South African tech company Gannet have plans for a new waterproof drone, designed specifically for fishing.

Initially launched through crowd funding website Indiegogo, the drones are expected to be delivered to backers this month.

Fully waterproof and capable of flying and releasing payloads of up to 3.5 kilograms, the drones allow anglers to drop bait several hundred yards out.

In statement Gannet chief marketing officer Brett Eagle drones flying over water have presented a unique challenge because they need to use barometric pressure to control flight altitude, rather than the LIDAR technology used over land.

"To this end, they must breathe and displace roughly 20 per cent of their internal air volume during each flight," he said.

"As the electronic components and battery heat up, the internal air expands in volume and the excess volume needs to be pushed out of the drone's sealed shell."

Mr Eagles said other waterproof drones used a breathable cloth or paper-like membrane through which the air is expelled, which can result in false readings and the drone continually gaining altitude.

"To address this unique challenge, each Gannet is fitted with a flexible internal flight bladder," he said.

"The concept is simple and is similar in nature to a fish's swim bladder

"As the drone heats up, the air expands, this pushes on the outside of the bladder, and forces the air in the bladder out through the opening, thus decreasing the bladder size."

Similar to how land-based drones can be targeted by eagles, ocean based drones often fall foul of seagulls or pelicans.

Mr Eagles said along with birds, drones were often sunk due to snagged fishing lines.

To avoid this, he said the Gannet drone used a dual electromechanical release which allowed the user to set an auto release based on line tension.

Mr Eagles said beyond fishing, the Gannet drone cold be used for emergency services, such as flying out a lifeline to swimmers in distress. .

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